Exercise G: Logic, Cohesion, and the Bottom Line

Extension of MSE Economics Analysis



Writing about concepts that are related, but where the relationship is not immediately obvious, requires particular attention to strategies for enhancing cohesion and clarifying the logical connections. Strategies for cohesion include the use of transitions, threading words, and the repetition of key terms [See Mechanics and Grammar if these terms are confusing to you]


The purpose of this exercise is two-fold: 1.) you will practice writing well-organized, cohesive paragraphs with clear, bottom line topic sentences, and 2.) you will clearly interpret charts and data.


  1. Use the Bureau of Labor Statistics page here to view average hours and earnings of production employees on manufacturing payrolls, by State.
  2. Add two new columns on your table, and compare how costs of wages and office space could influence the overall cost of spring production based on locating your spring business in two different states. Create a chart that best represents the data for a prospective investor, including how each of the two states compares with the national average.
  3. Addressing a prospective investor, write two paragraphs that contain the following contents:
    1. Summarize the data comparison done in #2 above, and
    2. Make a recommendation for where the spring business should be located and why, given your estimated total costs by location.

    In the paragraphs, you should refer to and explain the chart you created. Craft an effective bottom line for each paragraph that expresses the main takeaway and persuades your investor to continue reading; include clear transitions, threading words, and repeated terms between ideas in each sentence and paragraph (for example, what’s the relationship you want to highlight between the cost of office space and the cost of wages?). When you’re finished, review each sentence to ensure that you have expressed only one main idea in each sentence.


  1. Exchange your response with another member of your team. Identify the places where they incorporated strategies for cohesion (repeated terminology, demonstratives, pronouns, etc.). Return their response to them and discuss: What was challenging (or not) about incorporating the cohesion and logic strategies into writing your paragraph?
  2. In what ways did the additional information about average hours and earnings of production employees on manufacturing payrolls influence your decision about where to locate your spring business? Did seeing the state by state breakdown change your ideas?
  3. What choices did you make when designing your chart to best support your recommendation, visually, for an investor? (i.e., What type of chart did you choose and why? What about this format helps visualize the information most effectively?)


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Fundamentals of Engineering Technical Communications Copyright © by Leah Wahlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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